Pierre Joseph Redouté (1759-1840)
Redouté was one of the most famous flower painters of all time. His professional career began after he went to Paris in 1782 where he initially worked as a decorative painter at the “Theatre des Italiens”. He was steered into botanical painting after he met the botanist Charles Louis L’Héritier. Soon after he helped illustrate L’Héritier’s “Stirpes Novae”. Redoutes work was noticed by the famour botanical artist Gérard von Spaendonck, who produced drawings and paintings for the famous Velins du Roi. Spaendonck recruited Pierre Joseph Redouté as a staff member, and he subsequently contributed over 500 paintings to this huge undertaking.
Redoute learnt Spaendonck’s watercolor technique, by which he used to produce flower paintings with a bright transparency. He was then appointed court painter to Marie-Antoinette and subsequently becoming one of France’s most popular flower painters. He perfected the color stipple engraving technique, which he had learned during a stay in London and first applied it in his illustrations for de Candolle’s work “Plantes Grasses”. In 1805 he was appointed court and flower painter to the Empress Josephine. From 1817 to 1824 he produced his greatest illustrated work, the monograp “Les Roses”.